Monday, 20 February 2017

In Bruges: A Spiritual Movie


 

We live in an age were most people actually do not understand what a spiritual idea is, or how it should be expressed in art and culture. In a popular cultural sense, people who consider themselves 'spiritual' have come to see utterly vacuous movies such as the dumb, 'shoot em up' CGI garbage of The Matrix series, or the truly unwatchable Avatar (pro NATO and trans-humanist propaganda) as being movies which represent spiritual or esoteric ideas. 

This tragic result is due to an overall 'spiritual ignorance' among the general population mainly as a result of organized religion and New Age ideas. The same 'spiritual' self-conscious people who extol nonsense such as The Matrix often miss the genuine spiritual movie masterpieces that are released now and again, for no other reason than they have no idea what a spiritual or transcendental idea actually is anymore.

One movie which is a surprisingly spiritual masterpiece (in the deepest and most complete sense) is the 2008 black comedy crime drama written and directed by Martin McDonagh entitled In Bruges. The film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two Irish hit men in hiding following a botched job, along with a fantastic supporting role played by Ralph Fiennes as their gangster boss. 


The movie's plot line revolves around the aftermath of a failed hit job on a Catholic priest, when the event goes horribly wrong and Gleeson's and Farrell's characters accidentally end up killing a young child. Their boss (Fiennes) sends them to the beautiful Belgian medieval city of Bruges in order to wait out their time until the sensation of the murder blows over and Fiennes can arrange their getaway. In reality, Fiennes plan is to murder them both so his part in organizing the accidental killing of the young boy is not revealed

What makes In Bruges, at same time an incredibly deep, but very funny movie, is that in reality both Farrell's and Gleeson's characters - ravaged by guilt and torment over the young child's death -  enter into a kind of Hell represented by the architecture and street characters of Bruges. The Gothic architecture of the city, coupled with a landscape filled with drawfts, jealous angry males, tormented women, overweight tourists all gel to create something of a cinematic Hieronymus Bosch  (1450-1516) depiction of Hell, and all the while being stalked by a super demon of retribution in the guise of their boss Ralph Fiennes.
Hell panel from The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

Within this psychological inner Hell being experienced by Farrell and Gleeson, they both come to the realization - of sorts - that both are already 'dead' (or at least caught within a living purgatory) and only by a self sacrifice of atonement can either one escape their nightmare in Bruges. Gleeson readily accepts that death is his only option to escape his torment, while Farrell, being young and handsome, at least has a chance for a second beginning within this earthly realm, and avoiding the mistakes he made in life which led up to him accidentally killing a child.

The final scenes of Colin Farrell shot, and in the hospital emergency room, while he is comparing Bruges to a vision of Hell, and hoping he does not die there, is both brilliant and comical (powerful self-reflection of spiritual ideas represented within satire and pathos). The mythological undercurrent within the movie's script by Martin McDonagh is about as spiritual a cinematic plot line as one could hope to encounter.


The primary reason why people today have come to see movies such as the spiritually dead Matrix series as being 'profound', while seeing a deeply spiritual movie such as In Brgges as a throwaway comedy and nothing else, is entirely down to an overall spiritual superficiality among the general population who have come to believe that all spiritual experiences must be exclusively based on ideas around Hallmark moments of platitudes and fantasy, and not the often cold and miserable experiences of everyday life. As a result, they also fail to recognise the Monomyth of their own daily epics and sagas. 

In Bruges is a movie that gives the viewer a satirical presentation of the potential horrors of everyday life within the guise of a transformation narrative of atonement and redemption, and is ultimately a liberating cinematic experience for the viewer once they can recognise the conventions of its form.

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